Knockout of toll-like receptor-2 attenuates both the proinflammatory state of diabetes and incipient diabetic nephropathy

Sridevi Devaraj, Peter Tobias, Balakuntalam S. Kasinath, Rajendra Ramsamooj, Alaa Afify, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Objective-: Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is a proinflammatory state and confers an increased risk for vascular complications. Toll-like receptors (TLR) could participate in diabetic vasculopathies. Whether TLR activation contributes to the proinflammatory state of T1DM and the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy remains unknown. Methods and results-: We induced T1DM in TLR2 knockout mice (TLR2-/-) and wild-type littermates (C57BL/6J-WT) using streptozotocin (STZ). Fasting blood, peritoneal macrophages, and kidneys were obtained for flow cytometry, Western blot, microscopy, and cytokine assays at 6 and 14 weeks after induction of diabetes. Macrophage TLR2 expression and MyD88-dependent signaling were increased in diabetic mice (WT+STZ) compared with nondiabetic WT mice. These biomarkers were attenuated in diabetic TLR2-/-macrophages. WT+STZ mice showed increased kidney:body weight ratio due to cell hypertrophy, increased albuminuria, decreased kidney nephrin, podocin, and podocyte number and increased transforming growth factor-β and laminin compared with WT mice. Nephrin, podocin, and podocyte number and effacement were restored, and transforming growth factor-β and laminin levels were decreased in TLR2-/-+ STZ mice kidneys versus WT+STZ. Peritoneal and kidney macrophages were predominantly M1 phenotype in WT+STZ mice; this was attenuated in TLR2-/-+STZ mice. Conclusion-: These data support a role for TLR2 in promoting inflammation and early changes of incipient diabetic nephropathy, in addition to albuminuria and podocyte loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1796-1804
Number of pages9
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • immune system
  • kidney
  • macrophages
  • microvascular complications
  • nephropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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